Kieran Trippier set to be 20th English player in La Liga history

Joey Gulino
Kieran Trippier of Tottenham during the UEFA Champions League Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on June 1, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jose Breton/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Kieran Trippier has officially joined Atletico Madrid. (Getty)

In one of the summer’s more whimsical transfer deals, Kieran Trippier officially joined Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, signing a three-year contract according to a club statement.

Trippier made 34 starts across all competitions this past season for Tottenham, helping Spurs reach the Champions League final. He’s a feisty fullback and wing midfielder who offers threat on set pieces.

And he’s also a rarity.

Only 19 English men have ever played in La Liga, and Trippier is set to become the 20th. He’s the first since Charlie I'Anson played for Elche in 2013-14, and also the first Englishman at Atleti since before the Spanish Civil War, according to media outlet AS.

The most high-profile English stint in Spain’s top flight belongs to David Beckham, a Real Madrid Galáctico signing back in 2003 who played four seasons for the club. Steve McManaman won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid as part of his own four-year stint from 1999-2003, while Gary Lineker scored 42 goals at Barcelona from 1986-1989.

Trippier admitted this spring his future at Spurs could be in doubt, as manager Mauricio Pochettino demanded the money necessary to reshape the squad and keep it in Europe’s upper crust.

Now, Trippier joins another club in that stratosphere. Despite a lesser wage bill than Real Madrid and Barcelona, Atleti has enjoyed much success this past decade, winning La Liga in 2014 and finishing as runners-up the past two seasons, not to mention trips to the Champions League final in 2014 and 2016.

Other transfer sagas this summer may be more marquee and protracted, but Trippier to Atleti is unique in its own right.

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